Funny thing happened along to way to the gym….

This article is a response to my article about training for MS certs that I wrote for EUSP.

Two things really. The first is that SharePoint Designer became free and all the ideas, project and requests that had been labeled “I’ll do them when they spend the $” got all green lighted.

If you have read my earlier posts and case study you’ll know that I have had a fair amount of time in front of people selling MOSS. In each group there are always a few or so the saying goes, but in this case they weren’t what you’re thinking. They were the minority, the ones who see the value and begin to research and think along side as you move forward.

Needless to say the four key elements that are recurring eyebrow raisers are: Branding, Versioning, Security, and Workflows.

Speaking about the future customized automated possibilities for the department causes a lot of people to get excited, but at least you can level set when you are in the meeting. Remember I am the sweet spot of the SP end user; little formal training yet asked to lead, champion and admin MOSS. So every new direction in MOSS takes a bit of R&D.

But what happens when people go out on their own and begin talking up all these possibilities?

Your request list fills up.

Sun Tzu said “one skilled at battle summons others and is not summoned by them”.

So far my SharePoint success has had just as much to do with how much I summoned people when ready to roll out and support initiatives as it has had to do with research and experimenting.

As you can surely understand this has meant that anytime set aside for 70-630 exam training has been eaten up by any and all SharePoint Designer information. Overall this is not a bad thing per se, I am continuing down a path to increase my MOSS skills experience and further my ability to provide solutions.

The second thing that happened was an odd sense that the 70-630 was not my fight. Once I began working my way through the exam materials I found that this exam doesn’t pertain to me or what I am doing. Portal set up and configurations reside well outside my department and business structures. That is certainly not to say that this knowledge would not be beneficial and useful in the future, it is only that the knowledge gained by the exam content would have to be filed for future use.

I found that very soon into it I was memorizing the material to pass instead of cementing it as knowledge in order to win, so to speak. Also little things such as MS 2007 not being deployed to my business unit for another year cancelled out any Excel Services usage. So this leaves me with several weaknesses and that is one thing you do not go into a fight with. You go to win not to hope for a tie.

When you add all these factors together 70-630 vs. the SharePoint Contender doesn’t seem like the right fight right now.

Maybe another match up needs to be developed. One that would represent a true challenge to what End Users do.


About mhinckley

Michael Hinckley MCSA, MCITP, MCTS, has over 10+ years specializing in solution architecture for organizations that span from small businesses and global corporations. He is currently the Sr. Program Manager at Tangram. Michael is a recognized speaker and evangelist for Microsoft SharePoint and Business Intelligence stacks. He organizes tech community events (SharePoint Saturdays) throughout Florida and runs the Tampa SharePoint/Office User Group. He is a contributing author for the book Microsoft SharePoint for Business Executives: Q&A Handbook.
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